Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > All New England Archive >
Sep 19, 2009 08:44 AM

RI - Confused.... Apsara, La Arepa, Aspara

There seem to be several restaurants with very similar names. I believe La Arepa is a South American restaurant, but im confused about the other(s).... or is this misspelling on the part of chowhounds?

Thanks in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Apsara is a very popular Cambodian/Vietnamese restaurant on Providence's South Side. Not to be confused with Apsara Palace, a newer establishment on Providence's tonier East Side.

    11 Replies
    1. re: celeriac

      what type of cuisine does apsara place serve?

      is there an "Aspara?"

      1. re: joe777cool

        "Apsara is a very popular Cambodian/Vietnamese restaurant on Providence's South Side. "

        1. re: invinotheresverde

          thank you for the cut and paste of information I had already read.

          To repeat my question - What type of cuisine does "Apsara Palace" (East Side) NOT Apsara (South Side) serve?

          Thanks for adding to the confusion

          1. re: joe777cool

            Mostly Cambodian/Lao but also have Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese dishes.

            1. re: Dinsdale45

              Its Apsara that NE chowhounds rave about, correct? Expecially for good cheap eats?

              1. re: joe777cool

                Jeez, we were going to that place for months (both versions) and I always thought it was "Aspara." Cripes.

                Here's the website for the Hope Street (East Side) "Apsara Palace":


                The two were somehow related, big family feud resulted as I recall. The original one, "Apsara Restaurant" is the one on the South Side and most people think this is the better of the two and I agree. The menus are very similar. I thought the service at the newer location (during their first year at least) was unprofessional: young (high school kids) and one fellow was very cocky/rude. We went there almost every other day for months, but stopped because of that little bastard. I always wanted to tell the owner, but she never asked when I saw her at the launderette (next door), so I let it go.

              2. re: Dinsdale45

                Apsara Palace definitely does NOT serve Lao food (my family is Lao). You can't even get sticky rice there!

                In my opinion, the South Side restaurant serves better food. People may prefer the East Side location because it's cleaner.

                1. re: malyna

                  Sorry, I was referring to the S. Prov Apsara, and my apologies if I lumped Lao food in with Cambodian, but my experiences around Lowell make me believe there's a fair amount of overlap.

              3. re: joe777cool

                You also asked if there was an Apsara. There is, as stated above. I can't fathom how that added to the confusion.

                They both serve ecclectic Asian. I personally find Apsara to be better than Apsara Palace, and I believe that is the general consensus in RI, although there's nothing wrong with Apsara Palace. I enjoy the tofu-veg bee bong.

                Apsara's prices have gone up a couple dollars per item recently, but I guess everyone's have.

                1. re: invinotheresverde

                  To further add to the confusion, there's an Apsara in Fall River, too, serving a very similar menu, but not as extensive as the S. Prov Apsara.

            2. re: joe777cool

              No, there is no "Aspara."
              There are two different "Apsara"s in Providence.

          2. I just went to Apsara Palace for the first time last week. I go to the one in South Providence now and again; I like it. But I have to say that I thought that the food was better and slightly cheaper on Hope St. I'm not talking ambiance; I'm talking chow. We had chive dumplings, beef and eggplant satay, and pork with ginger sauce. The dumplings were stuffed with flat chives, and definitely never frozen. The pork was monochromatic but packed with flavor, and the satay was beautiful and tasty.

            I wonder how much of the chowhound attitude regarding Apsarsa is derived from feeling that they need the more authentic experience: the original business, the dodgier neighborhood, and the less English spoken in the place.

            I'll probably return to the Public St Apsara sooner than the other, but that's because I'm in that neighborhood more often.